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MELBOURNE, Sept. 27, 2016 /CNW/ - OceanaGold Corporation (TSX/ASX/NZX: OGC) (the "Company") notes that in a press conference held today by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources ("DENR") Secretary Lopez and Senior Undersecretary Jasareno, OceanaGold Didipio operation was mentioned as one of the 23 mining companies listed that may have their operations suspended, due to alleged outstanding social issues.
The Company confirms that it has not received any formal order from the department and is currently seeking clarification and further details. In the meantime, mining and processing activities are continuing at the Didipio Mine. The Company will consider all avenues, including working collaboratively with the DENR, to facilitate the immediate resolution of this matter to ensure no disruption to our operations and our valued local workforce.
Mick Wilkes, President and CEO said, "We pride ourselves, and have been recognised on numerous occasions, for being a responsible mining company with a long history of operating to the highest industry standards on health, safety, environment, community and sustainability. We are disappointed with the statements made earlier today and will seek clarification and reconsideration from the DENR to further understand and rectify this matter in short order."
Mr. Wilkes added, "The Didipio Mine has a strong social license to operate. Our achievements since recommencement of construction in 2011 would not have been achieved without our steadfast commitment to the community and most importantly the strong endorsement from the residents of Didipio and the nine other communities in the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino."
The Didipio operation has been a recipient of numerous international and national awards related to its strong track record for health and safety, environmental management and community engagement. In 2014, the Didipio Mine was one of the first mines in the Philippines to be certified by ISO 140001, a leading industry best practice in Environmental Management Systems and the OSHAS 18001 certification, as well as adhering to international environmental and sustainability standards.
Since 2011, OceanaGold has proactively engaged with local and regional stakeholders and has established a strong and cooperative relationship based on mutual respect. The operation has delivered significant direct and indirect benefits to its host communities.
Currently OceanaGold's Didipio operation employs over 1,800 people, 98 percent of whom are Filipino Nationals from local and regional communities. The Didipio Mine's economic contribution to the Philippines in the form of taxes and royalties is estimated at US$70 million over the past three and a half years, with considerably more to be contributed over the life of the mine.
Locally, the operation is a significant contributor to the continued social and economic development of the surrounding region providing, health and social infrastructure, establishing education programs and academic scholarships, developing training initiatives, and supporting locally sourced and run businesses.
Between 2014 and 2016, the Didipio operation received a number of environmental, health, safety and social awards, including the 2014 gold award at the sixth Annual Global CSR Summit, one of Asia's most prestigious recognition programs for corporate social responsibility, for the Empowerment of Women; the 2015 and 2016 Presidential Mineral Industry and Environment Award (PMIEA), recognising a mining and quarrying company that excels in the efficient management of the local environment and ecology and safety standards and practices; the 2016 gold award at the 8th Annual Global Corporate Social Responsibility Summit for the Best Workplace Practices; and in 2015 was awarded both the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) Safest Surface Mining Operation Award and the PMSEA Safest Mining Operation: Metallic Category award.
The Company will hold a conference call to discuss the comments made during the DENR press conference at 9:00pm on Tuesday 27 September (Melbourne, Australia time) / 7:00am on Tuesday 27 September 2016 (Toronto, Canada time).
Local dial in numbers are:
Toronto: (+1) 416 764 8688
Canada & North America: (+1) 888 390 0546
United Kingdom: 0800 652 2435
Australia: 1800 076 068
New Zealand: 0800 453 421
A replay of the teleconference will be available until Friday September 30, 2016 on:
All locations (local): (+1) 416 764 8677
All locations (toll free): (+1) 888 390 0541
Playback PIN: 620 486 #
OceanaGold Corporation is a mid-tier, low-cost, multinational gold producer with assets located in the Philippines, New Zealand and the United States. The Company's assets encompass its flagship operation, the Didipio Gold-Copper Mine located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. On the north island of New Zealand, the Company operates the high-grade Waihi Gold Mine while on the south island of New Zealand, the Company operates the largest gold mine in the country at the Macraes Goldfield which is made up of a series of open pit mines and the Frasers underground mine. In the United States, the Company is currently constructing the Haile Gold Mine, a top-tier asset located in South Carolina along the Carolina Terrane. The Company expects the Haile Gold Mine to commence commercial production in early 2017. OceanaGold also has a significant pipeline of organic growth and exploration opportunities in the Australasia and Americas regions.
OceanaGold has operated sustainably over the past 25 years with a proven track record for environmental management and community and social engagement. The Company has a strong social license to operate and works collaboratively with its valued stakeholders to identify and invest in social programs that are designed to build capacity and not dependency.
In 2016, the Company expects to produce 385,000 to 425,000 ounces of gold from the combined New Zealand and Didipio operations and 19,000 to 21,000 tonnes of copper from the Didipio operation at All-In Sustaining Costs of US$700 to US$750 per ounce.
SOURCE OceanaGold Corporation